Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bar-b-Que Wagon, Bryson City, NC

Bar-b-Que Wagon, Bryson City, NC. By far most of my posts come from barbecue joints in the Peach State of Georgia. Snow had fallen earlier in the week throughout North Georgia and the mountains of North Carolina, so on this end of the year excursion through the Smoky Mountains, I was in search of good BBQ from the Tar heel state. Let me go ahead and say that Debbie and I were not disappointed. I had "googled" several joints around Murphy, Bryson City, and Dillsboro, so we would let the timing of the day and our location at that time stack up against the reviews we had read to determine which joint we'd hit today. Since we were heading east from Murphy over toward Cherokee (yes, to check out Harrah's) we decided on the Bar-b-Que Wagon in Bryson City.

First of all, this place isn't going to win any awards for five star service. It is located on the banks of the beautiful Tuckasegee River with even a couple of dining tables located where you can overlook the river. On this beautiful, snow covered winter's day, the little joint was even more picturesque. This is a "place your order at the counter and then have a seat" kind of joint, so don't expect to be waited on hand and foot, but the counter waitresses are true down to earth salt of the earth people. Appearance wise you can't help but but notice the wooden walls, ceilings, and floors as well as all of the "Elvis" memorabilia on the walls. It has charm and character that ranks up there with any of the joints we've hit.

We picked up bottles of each of the 5 sauces available and had a great time tasting each and trying to figure out which we'd like best. The 6 sauces they have available include: Vinegar, Hot and Spicey, Sweet, Honey, Gold, and Hot. Deb liked the Gold best which was really a semi-sweet honey mustard sauce. My favorite was the "Hot and Spicy".

You have to give the Wagon extra points for portion sized. I ordered a small sandwich which was more than adequate. Deb ordered a side of slaw and I ordered the Brunswick stew. The sides of stew and slaw were three times the sizes you get in many places including my previous day's stop at Georgia Bob's in Macon, GA. The stew actually was among the best I'd had in months though it's appearance didn't get the highest ranking. It's taste was superb with visible ingredients including butter beans, corn, and small cubes of potatoes. What we didn't try were the hush puppies which have received acclaim from several other reviewers.

The barbecue was finely chopped which typically doesn't suit my highest preference, but overall, this was some very good barbecue. It had good color, was clean, and wow, did I mention the portion size was more than adequate. Deb and I were both pushing the Wagon up into the higher ranking levels as we were halfway into the visit.

The Bar-b-Que Wagon get's at least a 4 out of 5 on our rating scale. I haven't any idea when or if I'll ever return to Bryson City, but if I do, the Wagon will be my dining preference! The menu at this joint offers many additional options that need to be reviewed including their ribs and hush puppies, so I guess that in the coming months we'll have to head north into the Smokies for another round with what I will rate as "some of North Carolina's best Q."

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